What's Your Workplace Cleaning Protocol?

August 12, 2020 Zoé Paradis


Whether you’ve already reopened your doors, or are still working on your reopening plan, you’ve likely thought a lot about how to welcome staff and customers into a clean, safe space. Here’s what you need to consider when developing a sanitation plan for your workplace.

What needs to be cleaned and disinfected?

Public health experts recommend cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces twice per day, in addition to routine cleaning. These may include:

- Door knobs, cupboard handles, light switches, faucets, toilet handles, elevator buttons and railings

- Phones, computers, keyboards, tablets, remote controls, desktops, chairs, cash registers, payment keypads, counters, menus

- Equipment handles, tools, carts, machinery control panels, seat belt buckles and steering wheels


What is the difference between cleaning and disinfecting?

Cleaning with soap and water removes dirt, while disinfecting kills viruses and bacteria. Always clean visibly soiled surfaces first, then follow with disinfectant. Common disinfectants include bleach solutions, quaternary ammonium (QUAT), alcohol (70%) and peroxide. While most disinfectants will work against coronavirus, Health Canada maintains a list of disinfecting products with evidence of effectiveness against COVID-19.


How should the workplace be cleaned and disinfected?

Choose a disinfecting product labelled as a broad-spectrum virucide that is registered in Canada with a Drug Identification Number (DIN). Be sure to read and follow manufacturer’s instruction on how to prepare the solution, contact time for disinfectant to kill germs and recommended personal protective equipment. Always wear protective gloves and wash hands with soap and water after removing gloves.


Ensure your staff is trained on these cleaning protocols and continue to promote social distancing, frequent hand washing and the use of face masks. Stay up to date with sanitation recommendations of local public health authorities and industry association(s). Be sure to communicate these procedures to your clients to help reassure them that you have their safety top of mind.


Additional resources:

(VIDEO) COVID-19 Tips: Cleaning & Disinfecting Workspaces  (Vancouver Coastal Health)

Cleaning and Disinfecting for Public Settings  (BC Centre for Disease Control)

Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces during COVID-19  (Public Health Canada)

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